If your toenails are thick, discolored, smelly, and possibly painful, it may be the result of a fungal infection. Fungal infections mainly occur due to a warm, moist environment, such as:
Because fungus is such a common organism, anyone is susceptible to the infection. In fact, several people in the same family can get fungal infections at the same time when family members use the same nail clippers or towels, or share the same shower.
There are a variety of conditions that can cause nail changes, such as:
In order to identify the cause of the infection, Dr. Dunn takes a sample of your nail for confirmation.
The first order of business in preventing fungal infections is to control excessive moisture. You can accomplish this by:
Additionally, it’s important to check that your shoes fit properly. If possible, you should also avoid pointy-toed dress shoes that press your toes together.
Topical solutions are effective for early infections when your nail thickening is minimal, and your infection is superficial. With thicker nails and deeper fungal infections, Dr. Charisse Dunn typically prescribes oral medication after drawing the necessary blood work.
Another solution is laser treatment of fungal toenails, which can be used in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, oral antifungal therapy. Laser treatment is an excellent alternative for several reasons, such as:
It’s important to remember that fungal infections are often resolved but rarely cured, due to the nature of the organism. A daily regimen of topical antifungal therapy, antifungal spray or powders, and proper hygiene is necessary to achieve the best results.
To find out how you can combat unsightly toenail fungus, call or go online to book an appointment at PGA Foot & Ankle P.A.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!